Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rosemary Peach Jam

Rosemary and peaches exude the warmth of summer. The juices of a peach drip the long summer days sunlight down your chin. Bruise the leaves of rosemary between your thumb and forefinger and you draw in the hills of Tuscany wavering through heat and memory.

Grill peach halves brushed with a sprig of rosemary dipped in a bright, fruity olive oil and you have the perfect dessert, or a sweet and savory side to grilled pork or chicken. They pair with each other with the grace of Astaire and Rogers.

Having agreed to take part in Steph Chows Jam Exchange, I had to come up with a jam that I hoped the recipient would enjoy. White peaches are still in season here in northern California, so a peach jam seemed sensible. Tuscan blue rosemary is threatening to overtake much of the back yard, so I thought I might as well make use of that.

The recipe I adapted was from the insider trading queen herself, Martha Stewart. As much as her manner annoys me, she does have some good recipes. Here is her recipe.

I had to rush the process a little, so I didn't steep the rosemary as long as Martha calls for. I may have used less sugar per portion, too. The rosemary flavor was very pronounced when I tasted the syrup about halfway through the cooking process, so I removed the sprigs at that stage. As much as I like rosemary, I know others don't necessarily share that view. The finished jam does not have a very strong rosemary presence and I wish I had left the sprigs in longer.

Rosemary Peach Jam

8 cups chopped, peeled white peaches, about 5 pounds
4 six-inch sprigs rosemary
5 cups sugar
juice of two small lemons

Mix ingredients together in large pot. Let sit for several hours, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil and simmer until setting point is reached. Skim foam from surface while mixture simmers. Remove rosemary.

I used an immersion blender to puree the chopped peaches after bringing them to a simmer.

Pour into warm, sterilized jars and follow procedure for canning in boiling water.

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  1. I'm with you on Martha Stewart and her army of super-housewives-in-lab-coats - they make my teeth grind sometimes, but they do have some good recipes. Stone fruits and rosemary... mmm.

  2. Of course, if we all had a corps of assistants prepping and cleaning up after us, we might all be able to affect that Zanax-like calm Martha has. Go into the cookware department of Macy's now and you feel like you've entered the treatment room for housewives with SED--robin eggshell blue all around.


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